Teaching with Technology

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    Emerging Technologies in Distance Education -- Outstanding...
    blog entry posted September 7, 2010 by Richard E Lillie, last edited May 22, 2012, tagged research 
    19573 Views, 106 Comments
    Emerging Technologies in Distance Education -- Outstanding Resource
    intro text:

    In July, 2010 AU Press (Athabasca University, Canada) published a book that I think you will find is an excellent resource for ideas about using technology in teaching and learning.  The book entitled Emerging Technologies in Distance Education is edited by George Veletsianos.

    AU Press makes the book available for free in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.  You may download the entire publication or selected chapters.

    This book is worth exploring.  It may not turn you into a "pro from Dover" (to draw on the line from the movie Mash).  However, it should help you better understand how to use technology when you design course materials and share them with your students.


    Rick Lillie (Cal State, San Bernardino)

    Emerging Technologies in Distance Education


    • Robert E Jensen

      Papa John's has offered to pay the tuition of around 20,000 employees enrolled in Purdue University Global's online undergraduate and graduate-degree programs ---
      Jensen Comment
      This follows a succession of fast-food company announcements of free college benefits to employees, including those of Starbucks, McDonalds, and Taco Bell. Most are online degree programs, but I think McDonalds will also pay local onsite tuition. Walmart is among the earliest major companies to cover tuition for college degrees. Large accounting firms for years have had much smaller and more-focused degree programs for employees that entail more extensive leaves from jobs to enroll in on-line campus courses. Also in this competitive market for top recruits it's increasingly common to offer new employees student-loan repayment assistance.

      Bob Jensen's threads on distance education alternatives ---

      Mega-Universities (unexpectedly) on the Rise ---

      Liberty, Southern New Hampshire, Grand Canyon, Western Governors, and a few other universities have found a new way to play the game that many colleges are losing. Could they one day lay claim to a significant share of the nation’s new college students?

      . . .

      At a time when many colleges are struggling with shrinking enrollment and tighter budgets, Southern New Hampshire is thriving on a grand scale, and it’s not alone. Liberty, Grand Canyon, and Western Governors Universities, along with a few other nonprofit institutions, have built huge online enrollments and national brands in recent years by subverting many of traditional higher education’s hallmarks. Western Governors has 88,585 undergraduates, according to U.S. Education Department data, more than the top 14 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings combined.

      Jensen Comment
      Especially note the graph of enrollment trends at Arizona State, Grand Canyon, Liberty, Southern New Hampshire, and Western Governors.
      The most important key to success, in my viewpoint, is the attraction of top students coupled with tougher admission standards that are key to academic reputations. If admission standards are not tough reputation depends upon academic standards for flunking out low performers. If you graduate low performers you can soon develop a reputation for being a diploma mill ---  which is the fate of most of the for-profit universities that have closed or will soon close.

      Of course the attraction of reputable faculty is important, especially in research (R1) universities, but often the top research faculty are not even teaching undergraduates. What the Mega-Universities have to concentrate is on hiring and nurturing of great teachers who are experts in their disciplines. This will increasingly change accreditation standards and enforcement.

      Arizona State University is somewhat unique in that it seems to want to be both a reputable R1 research university (with distinguished researchers) along with a diversity of missions such as providing Starbucks' funded degrees to any Starbucks employee (including part-time employees) who want to do the academic work for free.

      Note that religion is no key to success in and of itself. Many religious colleges are on the verge of bankruptcy while Liberty University enrollments soar.

      For me the greatest surprise is how competency testing seems to not be the kiss of death that I predicted in this era where students are constantly brown nosing teachers for grades and seeking leniency based upon race and age. Both WGU and Southern New Hampshire are noted for grading based upon competency testing ---